Each year, one in five American adults struggles with mental illness 1 and a third of adults will face mental illness or addiction within their lifetime. ²
The impact is a $300 billion-plus hit on the U.S. economy. And half of that cost is born by business through costs including as absenteeism, loss of productivity, employee turnover and disability. ³
Courtesy: Jeremy Smolens, CU Leeds School of Business, Class of 2020
Together, the National Behavioral Health Innovation Center and the University of Colorado Leeds School of Business are shaping the business case for mental health with the next generation of business leaders. We are creating a model that business schools across the country and around the world can adopt to promote mental health and substance abuse awareness. We’re making the business case for behavioral health care investment in the workplace.
Because behavioral health promotion in the workplace can reduce stigma, which stops many employees from seeking help, the NBHIC and Leeds are teaching, as well as challenging, students to develop solutions.
During the 2016-17 academic year, we are doing work directly with students and faculty:
- Teaching 700 business school undergraduates the economic and personal impacts of behavioral health in the workplace
- Challenging MBA student teams from more than 100 business schools who are participating in the premier Net Impact Case Competition to develop a best-practice organizational model for behavioral health
The success and learnings from this first-year work with LEEDS may just be the start. Entrepreneurial Solutions, a consulting firm in Boulder, Colorado, contributed to this project by assessing if there is strong interest among other U.S. business schools. There also is potential to expand this kind of imbedded learning to other schools within colleges and universities, including Law, Journalism, or even Dentistry.